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Checking out the cruise world in China and the Philippines

Manila The Philippines is my first stop on a journey to Asia that will consume the next four weeks, most of it in China, including Hong Kong. Battling jetlag, 12 hours ahead of the Eastern U.S time zone, my first goal was a long walk in Manila’s business district, which also is home to gigantic […]

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Sailing the Seven Seas on Regent’s Explorer, world’s most luxurious cruise ship (probably)

Like beauty, luxury is in the eyes of the beholder. So, it is accurate to call a week’s voyage on a budget-friendly cruise ship a luxury. Few vacation experiences are as affordable for a family whose luxury is measured by having a steward clean their cabin daily, eating as much restaurant food as they want, […]

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Meandering the Irrawaddy on an eye-opening cruise in Myanmar (Burma) from Bhamo to Bagan

Cruising south on the Irrawaddy River through Myanmar is a lesson about the impacts of tourism. The farther south you go from remote Bhamo toward busy-but-beautiful Bagan, the closer you get to the more beaten track where souvenir sellers await and beggars line the paths to some of the most amazing temple ruins in the […]

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Cruising on high-decibel Harmony, with turbulent waterslides and the Ultimate Abyss

  There comes a time when the current leader of “Who’s Got the Biggest Cruise Ship” does not mean much. A few yards of steel here, an extra deck plopped on top there, has little impact on the review of a new ship, as long as the added steel is well utilized. You will hear […]

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Bigger waterpark, more outside dining, craft beers on Carnival Vista cruise ship

When a major cruise line brings out its first new ship in four years, the design, style and atmosphere onboard speak to how the company currently sees itself: This is who we are, now. While some North American cruise companies are moving more upscale or appealing to a more global clientele, Carnival Cruise Line plows […]

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Cruising on new Seven Seas Explorer

With pomp and plenty of elegant adjectives, the 750-passenger luxury cruise ship, Seven Seas Explorer, officially joined the Regent fleet this week in an impressive and regal naming ceremony in posh Monaco. The ship’s maiden voyage is July 20 from Monte Carlo. No one could have asked for a better evening to focus on a […]

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Picking your fellow cruise passengers, making friends at sea — or keeping your distance

When my wife and I boarded Crystal Cruises’ Crystal Symphony in Singapore last year, we asked the maître d’ to find us an interesting dining room table. He was a master arranger. During our 12-day cruise in and around the South China Sea, we thoroughly enjoyed lively dinner conversations and laughter at our table for […]

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Cruising the Lower Danube River, incongruities from Bucharest to Budapest on Emerald Waterways’ Emerald Dawn

Despite the familiar credit card labels pasted on shop doors and ATMs, none of my American cards worked in modern Bucharest, Romania. Across the Danube River, in Bulgaria, crumbling factories and houses remain eerily empty more than 25 years after the fall of the Iron Curtain. Up the river toward Hungary, Serbia’s capital city of […]

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Best cruising experiences require pre-trip plan-From $100 lunch in Italy to advice from a Headhunter in Borneo

Travelers booking a cruise typically spend lots of time deciding on a ship, cabin and itinerary, but often wait until boarding day to consider what they will do in various ports along the voyage. Yet planning ahead for port stops may yield one of the highlights of your cruise. Here are some of my favorite […]

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Best of new big cruise ships: Anthem and Escape

Norwegian, Royal Caribbean take different tacks on eating, drinking, entertainment Tandem racing and free-fall waterslides or floating in a glass tube that feels like sky diving? Craft beers and tasty bites in a warehouse style sing-along keg room or a clubby pub bar? Oodles of outdoor dining choices or drinks mixed and served by robots? […]

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